Advertise with us

Enjoying this blog? Check out the rest of the Travel & Culture Channel Subscribe to this Feed

The Chicago Traveler

Coco Pazzo

by Matt B on September 22nd, 2007

For a perfect pairing of great wine and fantastic food with an amazing atmosphere, head to Hubbard Street and stop in at Coco Pazzo, one of Chicago’s best Italian eateries.

As soon as you walk into Coco Pazzo, you’ll notice a fabulous antipasto display and the wonderful aroma of fresh-baked bread. The restaurant features an open kitchen, an almost theatrical experience where the star of the show is the wood-burning oven. Simple, rustic Tuscan dishes emerge, including several house-made pastas, steaks, and fresh seafood. The fish is shipped straight from the Mediterranean, the flour comes from Naples, and the salt makes its way all the way over from Sicily. As you can tell, authenticity is an integral part of the chefs’ cooking.

Coco Pazzo is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the stomach. Bold velvet curtains dress the windows and section off dining areas of the loft space. The bright and airy room’s high ceilings, track lighting, wooden floors, and exposed beams provide patrons with a gorgeous, relaxed atmosphere.

Admittedly, the extensive wine list is a bit intimidating… and pricey. Coco Pazzo offers some of the most expensive and tasteful vintages to be found. However, don’t be afraid to ask your waiter or sommelier for help in picking out a bottle that better suits your taste, meal, and budget.

Start your meal off with funghi arrosto, wood-roasted oyster mushrooms served with crispy pancetta, raddichio, and aged balsamic. Other options include seared beef tenderloin, calamari, and pepper-crusted Ahi tuna. Continue on to creative entrees like rigatoni alla buttera (rigatoni with sausage, peas, tomato, parmesan, and cream), pappardelle coniglio (rabbit, white wine, aromatic vegetables, Tuscan herbs), or garganelli con vitello (veal and summer truffle ragu). Every evening, there are specials in each category (antipasti, pasta, secondi, insalate [salads], and contorni [sides]). And of course, you can’t leave without having one of the outstanding desserts: panna cotta, cioccolato fondente, and biscotti assortiti, to name a few.

As you can imagine, this is some of the finest dining that Chicago has to offer, so be prepared to settle in for a while. With beautiful surroundings, a few mispronounced dishes, and a bottle of good wine, most patrons find themselves settling in for at least two hours.

Coco Pazzo ($$$$): 300 W Hubbard St; 312-836-0900
Mon - Fri: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Mon - Thurs: 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Sun: 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Street parking difficult, pay lots and valet ($10) available
Public trans: Bus # 11, 65, 125 or Brown/Purple Line train (Merchandise Mart)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

POSTED IN: Restaurants

1 opinion for Coco Pazzo

  • "Top Chef: Chicago" Goes to the Zoo
    Mar 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    […] Not only does the Market offer organic fruits and vegetables, but it also teaches you what to do with them. Cooking demonstrations feature chefs from some of the city's most highly-acclaimed restaurants including Adam Schop of DeLaCosta, Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill, and Chris Macchia from Coco Pazzo. […]

Have an opinion? Leave a comment: